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Cycling News Roundup, 7 December 2008
By Bart Hazen
Date: 12/7/2008
Cycling News Roundup, 7 December 2008

Cycling News Roundup, 7 December 2008

Fabian Cancellara honoured, Marco Pinotti starts season on Mallorca, Milram continues, Samuel Sanchez sets his goals, Tom Stamsnijder breaks ankle, Gilbert wins Crystal Bike, Andre Steensen, Ag2r signs Clerc, SCOTT USA news...

Cancellara Honoured in Switzerland
Saturday evening Fabian Cancellara was elected sports personality of the year in Switzerland at a huge gala in St. Jakobshalle in Basel.

The Olympic time trial champion received 33% of the votes hereby beating another major athlete of this millennium - tennis player Roger Federer, who received 27% of the votes.

"It's an incredible honor for me. Winning over Federer in a vote like this is a huge deal. Roger is unique – there aren't many of his caliber in the world. I've had a great season so I was hoping I had a chance but I doubted myself to the very end," says Cancellara, who had a nerve-wracking evening.

"It was tough sitting there for two hours not being able to do anything. In a race you can always fight and sometimes you succeed and other times not. But tonight I just had to sit next to my wife and wait," says the 2008 winner of Milano-Sanremo.

Cancellara was right behind Federer last year and it's almost more important to him to receive this honor in his home country that had it been a worldwide event.

"My country means so much to me. I'm always ready to fight for Switzerland and the flag so winning this particular honor will always be special to me," determines Cancellara.

If you know Cancellara you'd also know that he's not the type to turn up at a gala event like this and blend in with the wallpaper.

"Almost everyone was dressed in black and red but my wife and I turned up in white and if I do say so myself we were absolutely the best looking couple there," laughs the Swiss rider.

Marco Pinotti starts season on Mallorca
Italian Time Trial Champion, winner of the final stage of the Giro d'Italia and overall winner of the Tour of Ireland Marco Pinotti (Team Columbia) will start his 2009 season with the Mallorca Challenge in February. After the Mallorca Challenge he will also compete in the Classica Almeria, Paris-Nice, Criterium International, Vuelta a Pais Vasco, Amstel Gold Race, Fleche Wallonne, Tour de Romandie and his first big season highlight the Giro D'Italia.

NORDMILCH AG press statement Team MILRAM
The only remaining German ProTour team Team Milram will continue in the 2009 peloton, as Nordmilch AG announced Friday morning that it will continue to sponsor Team Milram. The statement:

"With a view to the cancellation of important German races and the fact that the ARD and ZDF TV channels are no longer reporting live on the Tour de France, NORDMILCH AG has once again examined its sponsoring commitment in cycling with Team MILRAM. After a constructive dialogue with our partner Velocity GmbH, NORDMILCH AG announces that the team will start as TEAM MILRAM from 1st January 2009 on. This is being done trusting in successful cycling performances by Team MILRAM and its new up-and-coming hopeful riders and an improvement of the current media situation."

Olympic Champion Samuel Sanchez announces plans for 2009
Olympic Champion Samuel Sanchez has announced his plans for the 2009 season. The Spanish Euskaltel rider will start with Paris-Nice, followed by a couple of Spanish one-day races, GP Llodio on March 29 and the GP Miguel Indurain on April 4.

After that he will the Vuelta al País Vasco (April 6-11) and at the Klasika Primavera (April 12). His first goals is to do well in the Ardennes Classics the Amstel Gold Race, Fleche Wallonne and Liege-Bastogne-Liege.

For the second part of the season it isn't clear yet what his schedule will be but the Vuelta D'Espana and the World Championships in Mendrisio are for sure two big goals.

Tom Stamsnijder breaks ankle
Tom Stamsnijder has broken his ankle during a training camp of three days of his new team Rabobank. Stamsnijder coming from Gerolsteiner will miss a part of the 2009 preparations now as he will not be allowed to ride his back until after the Christmas holidays. Stamsnijder who is scheduled to start the 2009 season in the Tour of Qatar (February 1-6) is probably still be able to ride his first scheduled race of the new season.

Philippe Gilbert wins "Crystal Bike"
Belgian Philippe Gilbert is the best Belgian rider of the 2008 season. The rider of Wallone won ahead of Quick-Step riders Stijn Devolder and Tom Boonen.Gilbert gained 62 votes more than Devolder and 106 more votes than Boonen. Gilbert won amongst others the prestigious Omloop het Volk and Paris-Tours.

Detail: Devolder won the Tour of Flanders and Tom Boonen Paris-Roubaix.

Jan Bakelants became the best young rider, Mario Aerts the best helper and Johan Bruyneel the best sport-director of Belgium.

A more Experienced Steensen
He's only 20 years old but already getting ready for his second season with the best cycling team in the world come January 2009: André Steensen has had a tough season as a neopro but has gained lots of valuable experience in the process.

"It's been a rough season with lots of accidents and injuries. But I've come out on the other side a lot wiser on how to deal with adversity and I especially learnt a lot from my injury early in the season. At first the team doctors recommended I take a week off to see how it went because it might just be strained, but after a while it turned out to stem from the Achilles tendon because my shoe was rubbing. It taught me how to react in situations like that so hopefully it won't have to come to that in the first place," explains Steensen.

He finished off the season with a broken wrist in Circuit Franco-Belge in October which meant a quiet winter break for the young Danish talent.

"I haven't wanted to go anywhere on vacation with that wrist but it's a lot better now and I got through the team training camp just fine, so I've started my training again to get ready for next year," he says.

In 2008 Steensen began the season with his former team Glud & Marstrand Horsens and later switched to Team CSC Saxo Bank in May, but in 2009 he'll be with the team from the beginning so his race program looks somewhat different this time round.

"I'm starting in Clasica de Almeria and then GP Rennes, which is a new race on our calendar. A few of us young Danish guys are doing a number of races together, which will be a lot of fun, I'm sure," concludes Steensen.

Aurelien Clerc latest signing Ag2r-La Mondiale
Aurelien Clerc has signed a contract for one season with the French team Ag2r-La Mondiale. The 29 year old coming from Bouygues Telecom finished as second in Gent-Wevelgem last year and has a total of 14 victorie in his professional career. With the signing of Clerc Ag2r is with a total of 30 riders complete for the new season.

Sybille Matter

SCOTT Contessa Triathlete Sybille Matter wins the Hawaiian Airlines Double
Scott Contessa Triathlete Sibylle Matter recently won the Hawaiian Airlines Double competition that ranked athletes entering both the Ironman WC in Kona and the X-Terra WC in Maui 2 weeks afterwards. Matter placed 13th overall in the Pro Women’s field in Kona and a respectable 14th overall at the X-Terra with a combined time for both events of 13:12:08.

Sibylle rode a new Scott Contessa Plasma for the Ironman, featuring the Plasma2 frameset that also produced the fastest bike split in Kona under Ain Alar Juhanson. She competed on the Contessa Spark RC for the X-Terra event. It’s takes tremendous work ethic and training to pull off “the double”.

Chris Bingham

SCOTT Bicycles welcomes Chris Bingham
Chris Bingham was hired this week as Warranty Manager for Scott Bicycles. He brings a wealth of experience to the team and we are happy to have him.

“Bikes have been my passion since the age of 5. Road bikes, MTN bikes whatever I love them all. I still race XC once in a while but it has more to do with getting my kids into the sport; I’m a covering racer,” remarked Chris. “I consider myself a lifer in the bike industry. In too many years than I can remember I haven’t had a job outside of the industry. I have done everything from product design and development to setting up and managing a service center for suspension and carbon wheels, I love all aspects.”

Bingham added, “I came to Scott because it is a strong up and coming brand to the USA market with some amazing product. There are more than a few bikes I can’t wait to try! When giving the opportunity I jumped on it.“

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